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U-Pb geochronology of calcite-mineralized faults: absolute timing of rift-related fault events on the northeast Atlantic margin

Roberts, Nick M.W.; Walker, Richard J.. 2016 U-Pb geochronology of calcite-mineralized faults: absolute timing of rift-related fault events on the northeast Atlantic margin. Geology, 44 (7). 531-534. 10.1130/G37868.1

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Abstract/Summary

Constraining the timing of brittle faulting is critical in understanding crustal deformation and fluid flow, but many regional-scale fault systems lack readily available techniques to provide absolute chronological information. Calcite mineralization occurs in crustal faults in many geological settings and can be suitable for U-Pb geochronology. This application has remained underutilized because traditional bulk dissolution techniques require uncommonly high U concentration. Because U and Pb are distributed heterogeneously throughout calcite crystals, high-spatial-resolution sampling techniques can target domains with high U and variable U/Pb ratios. Here we present a novel application of in-situ laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) to basaltic fault rock geochronology in the Faroe Islands, northeast Atlantic margin. Faults that are kinematically linked to deformation associated with continental break-up were targeted. Acquired ages for fault events range from mid-Eocene to mid-Miocene and are therefore consistently younger than the regional early Eocene onset of ocean spreading, highlighting protracted brittle deformation within the newly developed continental margin. Calcite geochronology from LA-ICP-MS U-Pb analysis represents an important and novel method to constrain the absolute timing of fault and fluid-flow events.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1130/G37868.1
ISSN: 0091-7613
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 05 Jul 2016 13:17 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/513914

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